The Best Piriformis Stretches and Exercises to Relieve Sciatica, Back & Hip Pain

Nowadays many people suffer from sciatica, lower back and hip pain. These conditions are result of a disturbance in the function of the sciatic nerve. This nerve binds the spine and the femur which allows the movements of the hips, upper legs, and feet.

According to the physiotherapist Dirk Laubscher:

Sciatica is a condition characterized by pain running down the back of the leg, usually from the lower back. It is the name given to any sort of pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in your body.”

Sciatica can be very painful condition accompanied with an unbearable and intense pain. The common reasons for the occurrence of this condition can be a body injury, ruptured disc, or spinal stenosis. When such thing occurs, doctors recommend checking the lower back and hips as the pain goes to the lower limbs and feet thus leading to hip and lower back pain.

The pain can be very intense that can impair the normal function of the person not being able to perform the simplest tasks.

Most Common Symptoms of Sciatica

  1. Burning and Tingling – experienced anywhere along the length of the leg.
  2. Weakness or Numbness – occurring in the leg and causing difficulty moving the foot or toes.
  3. Acute Pain When Rising – this pain can be sharp, especially when rising from a sitting position.
  4. Leg Pain – commonly occurs in the back of the leg which turns to be very intense when sitting rather than standing up.
  5. Chronic Pain on One Sidethis is a common sciatica symptom affecting only one side of a patient’s body either the right or left side of the body. It can go all the way from the lower back down to the foot or toes.
  6. Lying Down Offers Relief – the sciatica condition gets worse when standing or sitting. The pain can be alleviated when the affected person lies down.

The pain becomes unbearable that most people immediately turn to the use of the pharmaceutical medications like ketoprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants. All these medications are accompanied with side effects, and because of that it is better to start some other alternative treatment like regular exercising. Therefore, in this article we shall present you some outstanding exercises that can help you in relieving the pain of this condition.

Have in mind to always warm up prior performing these exercises.

Effective Exercises in Treating Sciatic Nerve Pain:

1st Exercise – Supine Piriformis Stretch

Take a lying position, then bend the knee and cross the leg towards the chest, and make sure to hold it with one hand. Keep this position for half a minute.

2nd Exercise -Standing Piriformis Stretch

For this exercise you are in a standing position, and then place the painful leg over the knee of the other leg, and slowly lower the hip to a 45-degree angle. Bend your body straight ahead, but maintain straight spine with your arms extended in a parallel line to the ground. Keep this position for half a minute, and do the same procedure with the other leg.

3rd Exercise – Outer Hip Piriformis Stretch

Take a lying position and then bend the painful leg, with the foot near the ankle of the other leg. Next, curl the leg to the other side and with the knee touch the ground and then elevate the hand of the affected side. Lower the arm in the opposite direction of the knee, meanwhile trying to touch the floor with the shoulder. Keep this position for 20 minutes, and then change sides.

4th Exercise – Long Abductor Stretch

In a sitting position, stretch your legs out and far apart, then bend forward, and place the hands on the floor. In such position, try to touch the ground with your elbows, and stay in this position for 20 seconds.

5th Exercise – Short Adductor Stretch

In a sitting position, place the feet together in front of the torso. Next, hold the right ankle with the left hand, and the left one with the right hand. Start pushing down the knees, and keep it for a minute. You should pause for a minute, and after that start waving your legs swiftly.

6th Exercise – Side-Lying Clam

Take a lying position on the affected side, and then bend the legs back making the L shape, but with one foot on another, keeping with the painful hip high. Lift the top knee, and keep it for a few seconds. Do 15 repetitions.

7th Exercise – Hip Extension

You should begin with the hands and knees on the floor, and then align the hands with the shoulders. Raise the painful leg, but make sure to keep your knee tilted, and in such position start to lower it. Repeat 15 times.

8th Exercise – Supine Piriformis Side Stretch

Take a lying position on the floor with your legs flat and straight back. Elevate the painful leg. Place the foot on the outside of the other leg close to the knee. Keep both shoulders and hips on the floor meanwhile dragging the knee of the painful leg across the middle line of the body. Keep it for half a minute, and after that do the same movement with the other leg.

9th Exercise – Bottom Stretch for the Piriformis Muscle

Begin this stretch on all fours, with your foot of the affected leg placed under the stomach. After that, curl it towards the opposite side of your body close to the hip with the knee toward the shoulder. In this position touch the ground with your forehead, stretch the other leg, and start pushing your hips towards the ground. Keep this position half a minute and do 3 repetitions.

10th Exercise – Seated Stretch

In a sitting position on a chair, cross the painful leg over the other, maintain the chest upfront and the back straight. Start breathing deeply, and bend slowly. Keep this position half a minute, and after that repeat the same movement with the other leg as well.

11th Exercise – McKenzie Press Up

Take a lying position on the floor, but with your face down, and stay like that for a few minutes. After that, put the elbows on the floor, and breathe deeply.  Lower yourself down again, and relax for 2 to 3 minutes.

Perform these exercises regularly every day, and very soon you will experience great relief.

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